State Rep Floren: RTM Should Support BYOGreenwich, Choose to Re-Use

Op-Ed Submitted by State Rep Livvy Floren supporting BYOGreenwich who seek RTM Approval for their proposal to phase out single-use plastic bags, Feb 16, 2018

Margaret Mead said it all and said it well: “Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

Count in the caring column BYOGreenwich (Bring Your Own) – a group of environmentally astute people who are working to phase out single-use plastic bags.

Single use plastic bags are everyday litter – the plastic never biodegrades, is unsightly refuse on our streets and lawns, gets caught up in tree branches, and clogs our water supply. That doesn’t need to happen.

Working with our Town Attorney and members of the RTM Legislative and Rules Committee, BYOGreenwich is preparing ordinance language which encourages responsible choice: Phase out the wasteful, mindless, outdated use of single-use plastic bags and replace them with recyclable and reusable cloth or string bags.

With the support of the Board of Selectmen, proposed ordinance language mirrors what has been successfully enacted in Westport for seven years and adopted state-wide in Hawaii and California.

BYOGreenwich has done its homework. Interviews have been conducted with other cities/town across the country to ascertain best practices for compliance, administrative responsibility, enforcement and results.

The proposal has traction with local merchants, many of whom are already offering paper instead of plastic bags. Free recyclable bags have been donated to Neighbor to Neighbor, and complimentary cloth tote bags will be made available to anyone who asks or to anyone who cannot afford the tariff imposed on plastic bags.

The concerned and caring citizens who have worked tirelessly on BYOGreenwich have done their due diligence and earned our support in their effort to protect our town from blight and other forms of toxic pollution. The time for us to choose to re-use is now.

Rep. Livvy Floren
149th District Greenwich and Stamford